Gilmore's Gig 

The former governor on his think tank, the economy and prospects for another run.

It's been 16 years since Jim Gilmore, seated with his wife, Roxane, was sworn in at the State Capitol on Jan. 17, 1998.

File

It's been 16 years since Jim Gilmore, seated with his wife, Roxane, was sworn in at the State Capitol on Jan. 17, 1998.

What does a Virginia governor do after leaving office?

He travels. And talks on television. And runs a nonprofit think tank that's trying to revive the American economy.

Jim Gilmore, 64, has a lot on his plate. The man who ran Virginia from 1998 to 2002 and lost a U.S. Senate race in 2008 might be most remembered for lowering the state's annual personal property or "car" tax. To him, it was a campaign promise and a necessity to put more money in the hands of Virginians who should be contributing to the economy.

Now, at the national level, he's at it again.

The Free Congress Foundation, which Gilmore took over in 2009, has made economic growth its top priority. Cut taxes for businesses, get people jobs, keep investing in the military and, Gilmore says, America will be stronger.

The same goes for urban areas, where Free Congress would like to apply "conservative principles" - think lowering sales taxes to attract businesses.

"The classic approach to the cities has been to raise taxes to provide services," Gilmore said. "That's not the most effective way to address these concerns. The higher you raise taxes, the more people flee urban areas."

Even on foreign policy, Gilmore says much comes back to the economy. He said Russia's recent annexation of Crimea, for example, harkens dangerously back to the Cold War. But it could have been avoided if America had a stronger economy and policy, he said.

"I do not advocate going to war with Russia over the Ukraine," Gilmore said. "But I believe a stronger position by the U.S. would deter" Russia.

"We're seeing a very weak American policy."

With the Free Congress Foundation, Gilmore, who lives in Richmond, has been meeting with senators and representatives and going on cable news shows to advocate his ideas. He's taking the message far and wide -- trips to discuss business and policy have included Australia, Pakistan, Chicago, California and New York.

Gilmore also serves on the boards of several businesses and organizations, including the National Rifle Association and the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.

Is he thinking of running for office again?

"I've had a lot of encouragement," he said. But for now, he said he's happy working with the foundation.

"I love policy issues, public policy issues," Gilmore said. "This is my way of making a contribution."

This story first appeared in the Virginian-Pilot.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

  • Re: After seven decades, Don Warner Music closes as Richmond says hello to a new kid in town.

    • I bought my first two four-tracks from Don Warner Music.

    • on December 26, 2014
  • Re: After seven decades, Don Warner Music closes as Richmond says hello to a new kid in town.

    • Does anyone have any 1960s era photos of Don Warner Music?

    • on December 26, 2014
  • Re: Joe Morrissey is Resigning

    • Let the voters decide... Mr. Morrissey was apparently a very effective legislator for his district…

    • on December 26, 2014
  • More »
  • Facebook Recommendations

    Latest in News and Features

    • Parting Ways

      Remembering some of the people Richmond lost in 2014.
      • Dec 23, 2014
    • Silent Nights

      With an eye on a changing population, local churches broaden their approach to holiday tradition.
      • Dec 23, 2014
    • International Call

      A Richmond native explains why she quit her post at the United Nations over LGBTQ rights.
      • Dec 16, 2014
    • More »

    Copyright © 2014 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation